February 1944

February, '44

72 hour passes to London were reduced to 48 hours, though some 8 day leaves were granted later. A German "nuisance raid" on the 3rd saw bombs dropping just a mile and a half from the base. A new officers club opened on the 12th, and a new enlisted club a week later.

Click on a date for details

Feb 4th Frankfurt
Feb 5th Tours, France
Feb 6th Noball target; Eclimeux, France
Feb 8th Noball targets; Pas de Calais, France
Feb 10th Gilze-Rijen airfield, Holland
Feb 11th Noball target, French coast
Feb 13th Noball targets, Pa de Calais, France
Feb 20th Gotha
Feb 21st Handorf
Feb 22nd Gotha
Feb 24th Gotha
Feb 25th Furth
Feb 28th Noball targetX1/A/101

Mission Details

Clicking Photos in any mission below will bring you photos for that mission in a new browser window. Simply close that window to return here. Click here for all photos for February 1944.

February 4: Frankfurt
A total of 841 bombers from 15 combat wings dropped more than 900 tons on the Frankfurt area. Heavy overcast and winds made navigation difficult. Because of this, many planes bombed on targets of opportunity. "Black Widow" (42-7542) was shot down by fighters, with 5 crewmen killed and 5 taken prisoner. One of the crewmen was not killed by the crash, but was machine-gunned by a fighter pilot while parachuting. Photos

February 5: Tours
The airdrome was attacked by 14 planes with good results. Ammunition dumps were seen exploding, and several buildings and hangars were hit.

February 6: Noball target, Eclimeux, France
Only 3 of 24 planes were able to drop, but hit the target. Heavy cloud cover kept the others from dropping.

February 8: Noball target, Pa de Calais, France
24 planes dropped through a complete overcast.

February 10: Gilze-Rijen airfield, Holland
Because of failure on the GH pathfinder plane and heavy overcast, none of the 22 planes which reaced the target dropped. The weather was especially bad, with 5 crewmen suffering frostbite. The weather also caused a few close calls and minor collisions among the aircraft.

February 11: Noball target; French coast
Weather prevented the planes from dropping, but one plane, which could not form with his own group, tagged along with the 93rd bomb group on their mission.

February 13th: Noball target, Pa de Calais, France
The targets were hit successfully by 17 planes. Opposition was light.

February 20: Gotha
The longest mission to date, with 1,020 planes from many bomb groups attacking Gotha. A total of 444 bombs were dropped by 446th planes through heavy cloud cover.

February 21: Handorf
Heavy clouds caused the group to alter it's plans, and bombed Hesepe airfield and Lingen, Germany. Bombs were seen falling on a runway, a railroad, and a camouflaged building.

February 22: Gotha
After the group was recalled from the mission to Gotha, they decided to bomb targets of opportunity in Germany. By mistake, though, they bombed Arnhem and Nijmegen, on the German-Dutch border. Docks, factories, and a fuel dump were hit, and about 885 Dutch citizens were killed. Photos

February 24: Gotha
Fragmentation bombs were used for the first time, on an aircraft factory airfiled where 40 to 60 planes were parked. The factory itself and the city were also hit, with good results. Flak was intense and accurate. One plane, the "Lady Barbara" (42-99978), received a direct hit in a fuel tank by anti-aircraft fire. All 10 crewmen bailed out and were taken prisoner. Flak also hit a second plane (42-100282), with 2 killed and 8 taken prisoner. A third plane, "Henry's Pride" (42-7574), was severely damaged by cannon fire. The crew bailed out over England, but the pilot, 2/Lt Cecil Miller, crashed with the plane and was killed. Miller was poshumously awarded the Silver Star. Photos

February 25: Furth
The 705th's streak of 25 consecutive mission without the loss of a plane ended this day, when the "Rigor Mortis" (42-7589) was hit by flak, which was intense and accurate. It's crew bailed out and was taken prisoner. Incendiary bombs were dropped with direct hits observed on an aircraft factory and field. 1/Lt Peter Kartovsky shot down an ME 109 and S/Sgts Raymond Oliver and Robert White each shot down FW 190's. Photos

February 28: Noball target
The failure of both GH planes caused the mission to be scrubbed

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